Hunting season a bonanza for suffering Ohio economy
The Marietta Times is reporting that today's opening of deer gun season in the Buckeye State will bring some good news regarding the state's suffering economy.
From the story:
Susie Vance with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the state is rated sixth among the top 10 or 12 states that receive the most economic impact from hunters and fishermen.
"Our state is really appealing to hunters from all over," she said. "We have a very healthy deer herd with no CWD (chronic wasting disease), and we have a four-month archery season, and have added an extra weekend to our deer gun season."
Vance added that although the state's hunting license sales had been declining over the last 10 to 20 years, those sales have increased by 5 percent this year.
Alan Babb, 46, of Rinard Mills was purchasing his hunting license and a deer tag at the Marietta Kmart on Pike Street Monday afternoon.
"I was laid off from my job as a contractor in June," Babb said. "So this license will help put food on our table this winter."
Kmart sales associate James Everson said he's heard the same story from many customers purchasing hunting licences this year.
"We're seeing more business this year," he said. "A lot of them just like to hunt, but some are hunting to feed their own families or to provide meat for others."
Everson is also quoted as saying the influx of hunters from out of state is interesting, especially since an out-of-state deer hunting license costs $125, while in-state hunters pay only $19 for a license. Tags, attached to each kill, are an additional $24 for both in- and out-of-state hunters.
Wendy Wharff, executive director of the Marietta Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, says there's no question that hunting has an economic impact on the Marietta area and all of Southeastern Ohio.
"I used to help run a deer-checking station, and I've been to hunting expositions and trade shows throughout the nation and state of Ohio," she said. "Our county and surrounding counties are highly sought after for our large deer, and the hunters come from all over.
"I know one man from Canada who has family here and comes back every year," Wharff added. "And just last week during a meeting at The Galley downtown, I saw several guys dressed in camo gear who stopped in to buy dinner. These are hunters who spend money in our local economy."
The news story concluded with a list of economic facts regarding the positive impact hunting has on Ohio's economy:
In Ohio, spending by hunters and anglers directly supports 33,000 jobs paying a total of more than $934 million to working residents around the state.
Spending by hunters and fishermen generates more than $195 million in state and local taxes annually.
The economic stimulus of hunting and fishing equates to $5.3 million a day being pumped into the state's economy.
Annual spending by sportsmen in Ohio totals more than $1.9 billion.